Confidence in the local police

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • overall in 2017/18, 78% of people aged 16 years and over in England and Wales said they had confidence in their local police – up from 76% in 2013/14
  • among the broad ethnic groups, a lower percentage of people with Mixed ethnicity said they had confidence in their local police compared with White people
  • in every one of the last 5 years, a lower percentage of Black Caribbean people said they had confidence in their local police compared with White British people
Things you need to know

These figures are based on the annual Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).

The CSEW is a face-to-face survey in which people aged 16 or over living in England and Wales are asked about their experiences of a selected range of criminal offences in the previous 12 months.

The CSEW is able to capture a broad range of victim-based crimes experienced by those interviewed, not just those that have been reported to (and recorded by) the police. However, some offences such as homicide and sexual offences are not included in its main estimates.

Statistics on fraud and computer misuse have been included in CSEW data since 2015/16. However, as the data shown here dates back to 2013/14, the statistics and commentary exclude fraud and computer misuse offences.

The data measures whether someone was either:

  • a victim of at least one crime
  • a resident of a household that had been subject to at least one household crime (like burglary)

The data does not measure the specific number of times they were a victim, nor the seriousness of the crime they were victim of.

Keep in mind that all survey estimates are based on a sample of the population, rather than the whole population. This means there’s a degree of uncertainty which is greater when the number of respondents is small. There are usually fewer respondents from ethnic minority groups due to the make-up of the general population – therefore, the level of uncertainty is higher for these groups.

Estimates based on fewer than 50 responses are excluded, as they are considered less reliable.

To increase the reliability of the data when broken down by gender, age group and socio-economic group, 3 years of data have been combined (2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17) and the estimates presented are averages for this 3-year period. This 3-year dataset hasn’t been updated with the 2017/18 data.

The commentary for this data only includes reliable, or ‘statistically significant’, findings. Findings are statistically significant when we can be confident that if we carried out the same survey on different random samples of the population, 19 times out of 20 we would get similar findings.

Differences are statistically significant if the results for the groups or time periods being compared are within entirely different ranges.

The CSEW does not include:

  • people living in communal establishments (such as care homes, student halls of residence and prisons)
  • crimes against commercial or public sector bodies
What the data measures

This data measures the percentage of the population who said they had overall confidence in the local police. The data is based on responses to the annual Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).

Respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with 6 statements relating to their perceptions of the local police:

  • the police can be relied upon when needed
  • the police would treat you with respect
  • the police would treat you fairly
  • the police understand local concerns
  • the police deal with local concerns
  • taking everything into account I have confidence in the police

Those who said they agreed or strongly agreed with the statement ‘Taking everything into account I have confidence in the police in this area’ were judged to have overall confidence in the police.

Survey respondents included both victims and non-victims of crime.

The ethnic categories used in this data

Where possible, this data is broken down by the 18 ethnic categories listed in the 2011 Census. There's a separate category for respondents whose ethnicity wasn't known.

The 2011 Census categories are as follows:

White:

  • English/ Welsh/ Scottish/ Northern Irish/ British
  • Irish
  • Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller
  • Any other White background

Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups:

  • White and Black Caribbean
  • White and Black African
  • White and Asian
  • Any other Mixed/ Multiple ethnic background

Asian/Asian British:

  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Bangladeshi
  • Chinese
  • Any other Asian background

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British:

  • African
  • Caribbean
  • Any other Black/African/Caribbean background

Other ethnic group:

  • Arab
  • Any other ethnic group

The number of people from specific ethnic categories surveyed (the ‘sample size’) was too small to draw any firm conclusions when analysed by gender, age group and socio-economic group. Therefore, the data is broken down into the following 5 broad groups:

  • Asian / Asian British
  • Black / African / Caribbean / Black British
  • Mixed / Multiple ethnic groups
  • White
  • Other ethnic group

2. By ethnicity over time

Percentage of people aged 16 years and over who said they had confidence in their local police, by ethnicity over time
2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18
Ethnicity % Sample size % Sample size % Sample size % Sample size % Sample size
All 76 35,075 76 33,015 78 34,922 78 34,767 78 34,293
Asian 79 1,805 78 1,626 79 1,770 80 1,927 80 1,980
Bangladeshi 71 137 82 122 77 133 72 165 81 177
Chinese 77 168 77 134 80 171 79 180 78 163
Indian 83 759 81 665 81 712 81 757 82 783
Pakistani 72 397 71 385 75 425 76 492 76 491
Asian other 82 344 81 320 84 329 85 333 85 366
Black 70 946 71 894 73 882 71 999 76 943
Black African 75 555 77 523 79 518 76 611 77 567
Black Caribbean 62 346 60 314 62 303 60 311 71 315
Black other withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 45 65 57 62 61 69 77 82 61
Mixed 72 336 64 304 72 359 72 369 71 371
Mixed White/Asian 75 80 73 87 76 93 85 105 68 86
Mixed White/Black African withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 46 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 44 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 44 76 56 81 61
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 69 118 68 98 66 132 59 120 67 120
Mixed other 74 92 59 75 72 90 72 88 71 104
White 76 31,725 76 29,917 79 31,627 79 31,093 78 30,658
White British 75 29,836 75 28,209 78 29,685 78 28,831 78 28,420
White Irish 81 319 80 295 80 286 76 292 84 294
White Gypsy/Traveller withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 12 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 10 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 15 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 21 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 15
White other 81 1,558 81 1,403 85 1,641 83 1,949 83 1,929
Other 77 232 77 231 81 241 76 345 82 298
Arab 79 88 82 82 80 86 77 140 82 100
Any other 76 144 73 149 81 155 76 205 81 198

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • overall in 2017/18, 78% of people aged 16 years and over in England and Wales said they had confidence in their local police – up from 76% in 2013/14
  • among the broad ethnic groups, a lower percentage of people from the Mixed ethnic groups said they had confidence in their local police compared with White people
  • among specific ethnic groups, a lower percentage of Black Caribbean people said they had confidence in their local police compared with White British people in each of the 5 years studied
  • although the chart and table show other differences between ethnic groups, and changes over time, the sample sizes for these groups are small and any generalisations based on these figures are unreliable

3. By ethnicity and gender

Percentage of people aged 16 years and over who had confidence in their local police, by ethnicity and gender
All Female Male
Ethnicity % Sample size % Sample size % Sample size
Asian 79 5,323 80 2,688 78 2,635
Black 71 2,775 72 1,614 70 1,161
Mixed 70 1,032 68 598 71 434
White 78 92,637 79 50,400 77 42,237
Other 78 817 78 392 77 425

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and gender’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and gender’ (CSV)

Summary

Three years of data have been combined and the estimates shown here are averages for this 3-year period.

The data shows that:

  • a higher percentage of White women than White men said they had confidence in their local police
  • although the data shows differences between men and women from other ethnic groups, the sample sizes for these groups don’t give the level of certainty required to be confident the differences are reliable

4. By ethnicity and age

Percentage of people aged 16 years and over who had confidence in their local police, by ethnicity and age group
Asian Black Mixed White Other
Age % Sample size % Sample size % Sample size % Sample size % Sample size
16-24 77 578 61 263 68 211 77 6,273 68 102
25-34 78 1,348 72 536 73 272 77 12,544 83 186
35-44 79 1,523 77 709 65 222 77 13,929 81 225
45-54 78 814 69 639 70 151 76 16,024 74 128
55-64 82 539 75 336 71 90 76 15,390 77 87
65-74 87 352 78 163 86 54 78 15,912 87 62
75+ 84 169 77 129 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 32 85 12,565 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 27
All 79 5,323 71 2,775 70 1,032 78 92,637 78 817

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and age’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and age’ (CSV)

Summary

Three years of data have been combined and the estimates shown here are averages for this 3-year period.

The data shows that:

  • in general, a higher percentage of older people said they had confidence in their local police than younger people
  • among the Black, Asian, Mixed and Other ethnic groups, confidence in local police generally increased with age
  • among people aged 16 to 24 years, a lower percentage of people from the Black and Mixed ethnic groups said they had confidence in their local police compared with White people
  • among people aged 25 to 34 years, a lower percentage of Black people said they had confidence in their local police compared with White people
  • among people aged 35 to 44 years, a lower percentage of people with Mixed ethnicity said they had confidence in their local police compared with White people
  • among people aged 65 to 74 years, a higher percentage of Asian people said they had confidence in the local police compared with White people
  • although the data show other apparent differences based on ethnicity and age, the sample sizes for these groups are small and any generalisations based on these figures are unreliable

5. By ethnicity and socio-economic group

Percentage of people aged 16 years and over who had confidence in their local police, by ethnicity and socio-economic group
Asian Black Mixed White Other
Socio-economic classification % Sample size % Sample size % Sample size % Sample size % Sample size
All 79 5,323 71 2,775 70 1,032 78 92,637 78 817
Full time students 79 430 65 221 78 102 83 2,361 72 116
Intermediate occupations 78 1,069 70 484 72 211 78 21,928 74 147
Managerial and professional occupations 78 1,733 70 810 67 364 80 32,406 76 220
Never worked and long-term unemployed 82 594 76 208 69 52 71 2,810 82 106
Not classified 71 52 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 34 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 6 71 612 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 7
Routine and manual occupations 80 1,445 75 1,018 67 297 75 32,520 84 221

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and socio-economic group’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and socio-economic group’ (CSV)

Summary

Three years of data have been combined and the estimates shown here are averages for this 3-year period.

The data shows that:

  • among full-time students, a lower percentage of people from the Black and Other ethnic groups said they had confidence in their local police compared with White people
  • within routine and manual occupations, a higher percentage of White people said they had confidence in their local police compared with people with Mixed ethnicity, but a lower percentage did so compared with people from the Asian and Other ethnic groups
  • within intermediate occupations like clerical, sales and service jobs, a higher percentage of White people said they had confidence in their local police compared with Black people
  • within managerial and professional occupations, a higher percentage of White people said they had confidence in their local police than Black people and people with Mixed ethnicity
  • among the long-term unemployed, a lower percentage of White people said they had confidence in their local police compared with people from the Asian and Other ethnic groups

6. Methodology

Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) estimates are based on analysis of structured face-to-face interviews carried out using computer-assisted personal interviewing. In 2017/18, 73% of respondents completed the survey.

The CSEW is a household sample survey. Estimates are based on a representative sample of the population of England and Wales aged 16 and over. A sample, as used in the CSEW, is a small-scale representation of the population from which it is drawn.

Weighting:

Weighting is used to adjust the results of a survey to make them representative of the population and improve their accuracy.

For example, a survey which contains 25% women and 75% men will not accurately reflect the views of the general population, which we know has an even 50/50 split. Statisticians rebalance or ‘weight’ the survey results to more accurately represent the general population.

Survey weights are usually applied to make sure the survey sample has broadly the same gender, age, ethnic and geographic make up as the general population.

The CSEW collects information from approximately 35,000 households each year. Since those responses reflect only a fraction of the total population of England and Wales, a process is used to give different weights to different households and individuals based on their sex, age and region, in such a way that the weighted distribution of responding household and individuals in these households matches the known distribution in the population as a whole.

First, weighting is applied to the raw data to compensate for:

  • unequal address selection probabilities (given, some areas are more populated than others)
  • the observed variation in response rates between different types of neighbourhood
  • situations in which only one dwelling unit can be selected in multiple ‘dwelling unit' households
  • different probabilities of a respondent being selected based on different sized households

Second, calibration weighting is used to make adjustments for known differences in response rates between different regions and between different age groups.

Socio-economic groups:

The National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC) categorises members of the adult public in the UK according to their occupational status.

The NS-SEC categories are:

  • managerial and professional occupations
  • intermediate occupations (clerical, sales, service)
  • routine and manual occupations
  • never worked and long-term unemployed
  • full-time students
  • not classified

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Estimates based on fewer than 50 respondents have been suppressed as they are less reliable.

Rounding

Estimates in the charts and tables are given to the nearest whole number.

You can see more detailed estimates (rounded to 1 decimal place) if you download the data.

Quality and methodology information

7. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Office for National Statistics

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The Crime Survey for England and Wales records people's experiences of crime, and can include crimes that were not reported to the police.

Data from the survey can be combined with police crime data to give a more complete picture about crime.

8. Download the data

Confidence in the local police - Spreadsheet (csv) 113 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, geography, gender, socio-economic status, value, denominator